In 2005 the EU-CoE youth partnership, together with several national and regional partners, initiated a process of youth policy cooperation in the broader Euro-Mediterranean region, with a view to fostering greater cooperation between youth policy stakeholders.

The process of youth policy co-operation has inter alia significantly contributed to the recognition that co-operation among institutions responsible for youth policy (public and private) is essential to intercultural dialogue and to the Euro-Med projects in which young people take part.

Youth policy activities have also, undoubtedly, resulted in an expansion of  partnerships and co-operation with a variety of institutions concerned by the empowerment of young people in the MENA region, including the League of Arab States, UNFPA, the World Bank and British Council. In this respect, too, the EU-CoE youth partnership is playing a leading and innovative role.

In reaction to the political changes in their Southern neighbouring countries, both, the European Union and the Council of Europe are strengthening their efforts to support these developments towards democracy. Young people in Egypt, Tunisia and other parts of the South-Mediterranean hold the key to the sustainable and peaceful development of their societies based on human rights, democracy and the rule of law. Understanding and taking into account their expectations and needs is crucial for all the institutional stakeholders, such as the League of Arab States, national youth policy authorities and youth organisations. The experience of young people from the Diasporas in Europe and their role in and perception of recent developments can also positively contribute to this process.

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Seminar 'The role of youth participation and civil society in youth policy and youth work development in the broader Euro-Mediterranean context', October 2007, Hungary

24 - 27 October 2007, European Youth Centre Budapest

This was the third seminar in a process of Euro-Med co-operation about youth policy development which started during 2004.

The aim was to explore the underlying values, concepts, principles and forms of youth participation, to obtain a better understanding of the sociocultural context of youth participation and give thought to various factors influencing youth participation, to exchange examples of youth participation practice, to analyse related achievements and challenges, to discuss the roles of the different players (youth organisations, international/regional institutions and agencies) in fostering youth participation in all areas of concern to young people, to identify the key areas in Euro-Med cooperation for youth participation and youth policy development, and to plan follow-up initiatives enhancing youth participation (in political processes) and practical ways in which young people can contribute to intercultural dialogue.

The seminar brought together young leaders, youth workers and trainers, youth researchers and youth policy-makers with experience of work on the subject of youth participation in decision making.